‘It’s never easy to have a season where you play so little’ – Denis Zakaria ‘revived’ at Monaco after difficult Chelsea spell

Denis Zakaria (27) was rarely seen at Chelsea during his one and only season at Stamford Bridge, even despite impressing in the limited minutes that he was afforded. Amidst a chaotic season, which saw three managerial changes, Zakaria’s loan spell from Juventus did not go to plan, for any party. 

Having returned to Turin in the summer, he quickly departed once again, this time to join AS Monaco on a permanent deal for a reported €20m fee. At the Principality club, the Swiss international has been reunited with Adi Hütter, with whom he worked at Borussia Mönchengladbach and BSC Young Boys. 

Unsurprisingly, Zakaria has been a mainstay in the Monaco team under Hütter. He has already accused 2,125 minutes of playing time in his debut season with Les Monégasques, a considerable increase on his game time at Chelsea (721 minutes, eight starts). Responding to a question from Get French Football News during Friday’s press conference in La Turbie, Zakaria says that he feels “revived”. 

Zakaria ‘hungry’ for Champions League return

On a personal level, I’ve had a pretty complete season. I’ve been able to play a lot of matches, and I’ve been able to help the team so I’m happy about that. I think the season will be even more beautiful if, at the end of the season, we have a positive result. I’m focused on helping the team as much as possible in these last few matches, give everything and take as many points,” said Zakaria. 

He added,Revived? Certainly. It is never easy to have a season where you play so little. To have a season where I’ve played in almost all of the matches, it’s done me a lot of good mentally and especially physically.” The objective for Zakaria and for Monaco, is to return to the UEFA Champions League next season, an objective that they are currently on course to achieve. 

“We all want to play in Europe,” he began. “It is something that I have had the chance to do. We are a young team, with players who haven’t played in it, and we are hungry for the Champions League. It is the objective. It motivates us. We have everything in our own hands”

GFFN | Luke Entwistle



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